Monday, April 17, 2006

Life of Pi :: loosing Richard Parker

tomer :: about Life of Pi from Amazon: "The precocious son of a zookeeper, 16-year-old Pi Patel is raised in Pondicherry, India, where he tries on various faiths for size, attracting "religions the way a dog attracts fleas." Planning a move to Canada, his father packs up the family and their menagerie and they hitch a ride on an enormous freighter. After a harrowing shipwreck, Pi finds himself adrift in the Pacific Ocean, trapped on a 26-foot lifeboat with a wounded zebra, a spotted hyena, a seasick orangutan, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger named Richard Parker "
these drawings were done based on scenes from the book. the local (English) publisher was looking to reprint an illustrated version of the book and a competition was in place to choose an illustrator.
I enjoyed the book and was inspired by the simple structure of the story that somehow managed to capture a deep universal truth. that said, my tendencies to overly visualize horror while Disneyfiying the shit out of everything might have worked against me.
as I was working on these I consciously restricted myself to flat surfaces, I tried to keep it as un-painterly as possible so it doesn't become too heavy when seen as a series. the second self inflicted rule was to flatten down the perspective to an extant. this approach was based on some phenomenal Indian art I saw at the V&A. these Indian artists stayed away from faking a 'real' perspective (you know-- vanishing points and all that) and the resulting space seemed very natural for a two dimensional medium.
the winning artist is Tomislav Torjanac who is very painterly and had a great classic pitch. my vote however will go to this stunning series by Andrea Offermann who seemed to capture the unique lyrical aura of the story.

18 comments:

  1. Wonderful pieces , sorry that neither yourself nor Andrea got the gig , you'd both get my vote for different reasons.
    I admire your storytelling and compositions, and and I love the visceral emotion of Andrea's pieces.
    Thanks for sharing.

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  2. dude, AWESOME work...from both you and Andrea...she's actually a classmate of mine and showed me the one you did with the tiger. Made me go out and buy this incredible book. Great colors, especially with that first one.

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  3. I love your images. Gorgeous and perfect!

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  4. Tomer your line work and color combinations are trully inspiring! Those tiger sketches are so nice!! Amazing as always.

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  5. wonderful !
    magnifiques illustrations !

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  6. Tomer,
    I just found your Blogger site after having been a fan of your website (and print illos) for several years now. I freaking LOVE your "Pi" tiger "sketches" and the finished piece -- incredible man!

    BTW, where did you learn about this competition? Is there an organization that you belong to that informs you about competitions like this or did your agent pass the info along, or ... ?

    Looking forward to more great work from you and your brother!

    Warm regards,
    Jim
    www.jimdibartolo.com

    P.S. - I was blown away by your "Cell" illos for EW! What a HUGE exposure assignment that was!

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  7. Are competions the norm for illustration in book publishing? In graphic design contests/spec work are frowned upon; just wondering if it's different in illustration.

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  8. hey thanks guys! josh- that's awesome that you ended up reading the book, might be the best thing i got out of this....and Jim, i learned about the competition from drawn.ca, great work btw! erica- absolutely not the norm, never do it. it was a first for me and very much an exception. it's frowned upon big time. but sometimes you do what you got to do.

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  9. Thanks for the info Tomer, and the props! :)

    Best,
    Jim

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  10. aiten9:37 AM

    I saw the whole list of illustrations up for the contest for Life of PI and everyone of them were fabulous. My favourites were yours and Andrea. Beautiful work!

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  11. amazing powerfull, specially the one with the tiger and the boat

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  12. These illustrations are amazing. I enjoyed the book and the original cover was also quite striking and memorable. but these are crazy good.

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  13. GREAT stuff Tomar! So this was all Spec work? They should have picked ten people to pay to submit. Spec work is a no no. Really like Andrea Offermann' work too.

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  14. god your LINES ARE SO BEAUTIFUL!!!!

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  15. as alwasy, great compositions - the placement of the boy's head and the tiger's mouth is my favorite...

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  16. absolutely amazing!!!!!!!!!
    hope you win

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